companies plead guilty to clean water violations
at indian ridge development
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two companies pleaded guilty in federal court today to violating the Clean Water Act in the development of Indian Ridge Resort Community in Branson West, Mo.
Two firms involved in the development of Indian Ridge Resort Community – Indian Ridge Resort, Inc., represented in court by owner and president James E. Shirato, Sr., and North Shore Investments, LLC, represented in court by owner Donald Snider, Jr. – pleaded guilty in separate appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England to the charge contained in a Sept. 1, 2010, superseding indictment.
By pleading guilty today, both companies admitted that they failed to prevent storm water runoff at the construction site from discharging silt into Table Rock Lake.
Construction activities at the site, including clearing, grading and excavation, disturbed approximately 600 acres of land southeast of Highway 76 and Highway 13 from August 2006 through June 2009. The failure of Indian Ridge Resort and North Shore Investments to abate, control or slow the erosion from the construction site persisted through at least the end of August 2011.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreements, Indian Ridge Resort must pay a fine of $215,000 and North Shore Investments must pay a fine of $100,000 (reduced by the amount of civil penalty paid to the state, up to a maximum $50,000). Both firms will be subject to a five-year term of probation that includes a compliance program to prevent further erosion and discharge of sediment from the Indian Ridge site into Table Rock Lake and its tributaries. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.